Now, I hate to ruin the illusion for those of who thought my mane was natural, but if you’ve read this blog for a while then you’ll know I’ve had a weave for around five years (soz). I always thought this made me pretty experienced when it came to the hair extension game, but one thing I now know that I was totally lacking in knowledge of was how to take care of my hair extensions properly. I recently changed my usual hairdresser and paid a visit to Effin Hair for one of her Instagram-famous weaves, and – as well as a BEAUTIFUL head of hair – I left with a handful of products and a wealth of knowledge about how to look after my new extensions. So if you’ve ever experienced the emotional agony of watching your beautiful, silky extensions turn to dry rat-tails before your very eyes, this post is for you.
Stef, the babe behind Effin Hair, explained to me the best way to care for my hair extensions to get the most out of my weave. And I knew I was in safe hands with her advice, as her social media is FULL of positive reviews from her clients who get a minimum of 8/9 months out of their hair (for a bit of background, the previous lifespan of a set of hair extensions for me, no matter how expensive the weft, was around 4 months). While Stef focuses on weaves as a method, most of these tips are applicable whether you want to take care of tapes, micro-rings or even just your clip-in hair extensions.
Use Products Specifically for Hair Extensions
This makes me feel like a proper moron now, but I never used to use hair extension-specific products. Because I work for a hair company, I have access to a lot of quite high-end, professional products, so I assumed they were the best for my hair. But the problem with normal shampoos and conditioners is that they contain sulfates, which can strip your hair of its natural oils. Even if you have the best quality human hair extensions around, the fact is that it’s dead hair and so is already lacking in natural oils. The Effin Hair Effin Unbeweavable Shampoo and Conditioner are both sulfate-free, and designed to add much-needed oils in to hair extensions. They also smell amazing and look really fit in your bathroom, so winner winner.
Use Oil Everyday
Again, because our hair extensions don’t produce their own natural oils, adding it in the best way to keep them in good condition. Stef recommended applying oil to my extensions every single day and, while at first I thought this would leave me looking like a greasy, blonde Snape, I think this has made the biggest difference to my extensions. I’ve been using 4-6 pumps of Effin Miracoil, which contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, each morning on my hair and it still feels incredible.
Keep Hair Nourished Throughout the Day
I used to find that my hair would get knotty throughout the day, but since carrying the Effin Leave It In Conditioner Spray around in my handbag with me, there’s no danger of this happening. I spritz my hair with this every time I brush it and it leaves my extensions smelling amazing, feeling fresh and tangle-free. Again, it’s all about adding that regular moisture into the extensions, but this spray is light enough that you don’t feel as if you’re getting a horrible build-up of residue.
This is the one rule I already followed (and of course it would be the laziest one) – because the extensions don’t produce their own oils, they actually don’t need to be washed as often as our natural hair. Also, the less that we can weaken them through getting them wet and having to use heat to dry them, the better. Stef recommends that you only need to wash your full head once a week, and in the meantime you can just wash the top part of your natural hair. My fellow lazy girls will LOVE the amount of time and effort this saves you, and we can feel smug that we’re doing the best thing for our weaves too.
I’ve now had my Effin Hair in for just over six weeks (YES, THAT’S ME), and the fact that the hair is still in amazing condition is what prompted me to write this post. By this point with my old extensions and aftercare routine, the quality of the extensions would have already started to diminish. I used to think that the only thing I had to worry about was heat protection, and blamed straightening and curling on leaving my extensions dry and frizzy. Now I know that it was actually the lack of moisture I was putting into them, and the fact I was stripping them further with harsh shampoos (not to mention all the toners I used to use when I was silver, OOPS).
If anyone would like me to write a review of the general Effin Hair weave experience as opposed to the products then just hollaaaa, but for now if you want to buy any of the products I’ve mentioned – and I recommend you DO – then you can buy them online from the Effin product shop.
Do any of you have hair extensions? How do you look after them? Let me know in the comments!